What Were Firefighters Doing Atop Frank's Camera on Thursday Night

Fire officials say it may have been a training exercise, but did not have any conclusive answers.

On Thursday evening, I was returning home from the Highland Park Adult Senior Citizen Center after being informed by a community member that the neighborhood council meeting had been canceled due to a lack of a quorum. For those who don't attend a lot neighborhood council meetings, that means that not enough elected members of the council showed up for business to be legally conducted.

On my way back home, I saw the flashing of a ladder truck's lights outside Frank's Camera Shop on North Figueroa. Naturally, I pulled over to learn about the nature of the incident.

A couple of teenagers were on the opposite side of Figueroa, watching the mostly stationary scene. A ladder had been extended to the top of Frank's and, from the proper angle, you could see two fire department crew members standing atop the roof.

There was no smoke or fire, however, and also no incident commander on hand to field questions from nosy individuals. After making a lap around the building, and hanging out on the sidewalk for an hour or so, I headed back home in hopes of finding an e-mail from the fire department's automated alert system that would provide a few clues about what was happening.

However, there was no alert to be found. 

Early Friday morning I checked with the captain at LAFD Fire Station 12, who told me that, not only did he not know what was happening at Frank's, he wouldn't tell me if he did. He gave me a phone number for LAFD's arson unit, which was out of service (as was the one I found online after a Google search).

I made a call to LAFD's Media Relations Division, where I was connected to the always cooperative Brian Humphrey. After looking over the incident logs for the previous evening, Humphrey said that, as far as the records were concerned, nothing happened at Frank's on Thursday evening. In fact, he said it was an especially slow day for Station 12, with only three incidents on record. He did, however, provide me with the up-to-date number for the arson unit, which I called only to get an automated message.

Remembering that the LAFD captain I spoke to earlier had told me he wouldn't provide me any information over the phone, I figured it may be worth asking about the incident in person.

The captain, who preferred to not have his name printed, asked if I was the guy who had called earlier and again declined to provide information about the incident. I suppose I can't blame him, or the many public safety officials in his position; their jobs are difficult enough without having to deal with the media. He sent me on my way. As I walked down the sidewalk, the captain walked out of the station and called me back. Perhaps he was overtaken with the Christmas spirit?

Unfortunately, after looking through his own log book, he was unable to find any incident at Frank's. He noted, though, that the firefighters on the previous shift may have been conducting a training exercise. Given that it was an especially slow day, he said it was possible that was the case.

So, what happened at Frank's last night? For now, I can only share a story about trying to find the story. Hopefully, soon, I'll have the story.

Jonathan December 22, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Wonder if Franks missing any cameras?
Anthea Raymond (Editor) December 22, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Thanks to my colleague David. He sure captures the flavor of the kind of chasing we Patch editors do on a daily basis. -Anthea
Nimby pimp December 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Thanks to David. He and Patch provide an invaluable service in these parts.
Punk Attitude December 22, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I saw the fire trucks that night too. I heard that Frank's camera is loaded with rats. Poor fireman if their training included going into that storefront. On another note, HP neighborhood council not having enough of the ELECTED members for the monthly meeting? Ugh, I don't care if it's the holidays! They should reschedule it for next week. Gimme a break. They asked for the JOB!!! Very unprofessional.....
Hooper Humperdink December 23, 2012 at 12:20 AM
From the time I spent next door to Franks from mid-2008 until the end of that year, the place had an upstairs totally taken over by pigeons. I personally witnessed the one of the owners of Franks dumping a 50lbs bird feed bag in the parking lot to feed them - at the same time that one another co-owner was telling me what a problem the birds were. I heard that Ed Reyes' office tried to line up a deal to buy the building and convert it into more active use about 5 or 6 years ago right before the real estate bubble burst. If my memory serves correctly, they turned down a multimillion dollar offer on that hulking wreck.
Joe Walker December 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM
David, It sounds like you somehow were taken into an alternate universe where fire trucks appear but no firefighters know anything about it. Do you think maybe the King Taco security guard was on top of that building shooting pigeons? Don't lose faith brother!
Jan December 26, 2012 at 03:21 AM
From what I hear Frank owns that entire block from ave 57 to ave 58.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something